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New Strawberry bed

Post in 'The Green Room' started by SolarAndWood, May 9, 2011.

  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Last Mother's Day, we were worried that the sleet and snow on the freshly blossomed strawberries was going to be an issue. It proved to be a non-issue and we hauled in almost 40 gallons of strawberries last year.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/55718/

    This Mother's Day, the main concern was the bed running out of control. It took removing about 5 feet of the sprawl to fully plant the next bed. 95 ft of thinning to go. I think we would call it a weed if it didn't produce fruit and make nice ground cover.

    Attached Files:

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  2. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Looks great Solar, I think some of the herd would like those.




    Zap
  3. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    They rammed the fence pretty good and got in during the rut during the Fall. But, we don't see them as much and they don't seem to be as aggressive during the month these are cranking out the fruit.
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    The deer destroyed my strawberries last year. I thought they were completely wiped out, but I got a few plants this spring. Still in pretty rough shape though. I hate deer.
  5. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    They sure take over
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    40 gallons of strawberries = ?

    40g strawbs = about 100 qts of jam
    40g strawbs = a lot of strawberry wine
    40g strawbs = the runs %-P

    I would pull out half and put in a couple rows of autumn bliss raspberries.
  7. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    I didn't know you got Autumn Bliss raspberries over there, they are one of my favourites!

    With that number of strawberries, I can imagine a lot of jam being made in our house.

    We have 4 double rows of 20 feet, and will put some mini polytunnels over them in a couple of weeks just to keep the blackbirds off.

    This was last year, when we did a trial to see if polythene tunnels were better than glass frames. The polythene won hands down, on cost and productivity :)

    [​IMG]
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Most fruit does well here. It's a berry friendly climate, but in cold years like the last and this year you do better with later bloomers in order to get good polination. We tent with netting to keep the birds out of the strawberries. Our are Tri-Stars, so they yield constantly from July to October.
  9. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure its possible to have too many strawberries. We do our share of raspberries as well.

    Woodchip, that is a pretty serious operation. Our system is pretty low-tech at this point: try to not compact the seed beds, add water, keep deer out, add compost, mulch as much as possible to minimize weeding.

    Attached Files:

  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Great pictures.
    That's allot of berries!
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Do you usually let the asparagus get so tall? Asking because this is our first year that they are showing up for us.
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    We are not experts as we are pretty early in the game as well. This is only year 2. Cornell says they can get 5 to 9 feet?
  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Dave. Fresh berries make lots of friends. My wife's wine, jam and topping is pretty pleasant as well.
  14. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    We cut our asparagus between 9" and 12". Seems to get kind of woody if ut gets much taller than that.
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Are you supposed to cut them at all when they are establishing themselves?
  16. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    The first year after we planted we didn't touch them at all, just let them grow and go to seed. The second year we harvested lightly for about a month, then let them go to seed. This is our third year. We initially planted about 20 rootballs and they are all producing between 4 and 6 spears at any given time. It takes maybe a week for the spear to grow to harvestable height from the time it pokes through the ground. We are getting about 4 to 6 spears daily now.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I just read up and the answer I found was yes. Cutting them forces the crown to form more buds which will lead to larger yields in later years. Your plants look much better established than ours, perhaps because of warmer soil? The article says to keep cutting them for up to a few weeks this year, then eventually you can get up to 6 weeks of picking out of the bed.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1603.html

    And now I get another university saying no:
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h204asparagus.html

    After reading several opinions, I would judge it by the thickness of the spears. If they are all spindly like ours are, let them grow. But if a lot are finger thickness, you may be able to get a harvest for a week this year and more next year.
  18. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I read that as well. My wife is pretty adamant about the 2 year thing. I'll have to do a little more research.

    Big ones are 1/2" to 3/4" at the base and maybe 1/3 of the row is in that range.
  19. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Best thing with asparagus is get out there first thing and find a spear about 6-7" tall, cut it, and eat it raw there and then.
    You won't beat the taste, and no food miles ;-)

    We do like growing strawberries, we grow Cambridge favourite here, an old heritage variety which is really tasty :)
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    They be ready at that size. You may have gotten 2 year old root stock. Ours were one year old.
  21. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Just started picking asparagus. I have a purple variety that grows super thick spears. My wife says they're intimidating.

    We had thicker ones than these. This is the large sized fluff for comparison.

    [​IMG]
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That looks like the wild stuff we have around these parts. Some can get a base diameter that is pretty impressive. I don't have any domestic stuff planted, it just gives me another reason to go walking around.

    EDIT: had my first batch of the season for supper last night ...mmmmmm... Slapped them to a hot grill for a touch of char and then topped with good olive oil and a tiny pinch of sea salt.
  23. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Strangely, the larger the spears, the more tender they are. I think the outer part has fibers in it, and when they get big they have relatively smaller amount of fiber to middle ratio.
  24. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I've got one measly strawberry pot that's doing a whole lot of nothing right now. Now I'm depressed.
  25. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    We harvested the asparagus this morning and had a bunch for dinner tonight...mmmm mmmm is right. Hopefully, this was the right year to start harvesting. I planted the face of the retaining walls tonight with strawberries after hoeing the morning glory layer off. Hopefully, the strawberries will win the war.

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